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Pirates among MLB's top earners at $35M in 2017, Forbes says

| Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 3:27 p.m.
Pirates chairman Bob Nutting takes in a spring training game on Feb. 24, 2018, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates chairman Bob Nutting takes in a spring training game on Feb. 24, 2018, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.

Small-market disadvantage? Not so fast, according to Forbes.

The Pirates rank among the highest earners in baseball, having pulled down $35 million last year, according to Forbes , in rankings released Wednesday.

That ranks 10th among the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, behind the St. Louis Cardinals ($40 million) and just ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks ($34 million).

The Chicago Cubs reported an operating income of $102 million to lead MLB, according to Forbes.

Six teams lost money per Forbes' operating income estimates: the Miami Marlins ($53 million), Detroit Tigers ($46 million), Baltimore Orioles ($26 million), Kansas City Royals ($17 million), Seattle Mariners ($2.4 million) and Toronto Blue Jays ($1.3 million).

Forbes also reported the Pirates with a valuation of $1.26 billion, up from $1.25 billion a year ago.

The Tampa Bay Rays are the lone team valued at less than $1 billion. That's more than $3 billion less than the New York Yankees, who again topped the list.

There were seven teams –— the Royals, Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Oakland A's and Rays — worth an estimated billion dollars or less in last year's ranking.

The overall value of all 30 MLB teams jumped more than 7 percent to an average estimated value of $1.645 billion this year.

The Rays are valued at just $900 million.

The Yankees' valuation was pinned at $4 billion, a billion more than the second-ranked Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs were third at $2.9 billion.

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